South Staffordshire College

Art and design students inspired by the greats during National Portrait Gallery study tour

Category: News
Posted: November 3, 2017

Students from South Staffordshire College were inspired bysome of the world’s most celebrated artists during a recent visit to the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery in London.

The study tour, which took place on 9th September, saw learners who are working towards Level 3 qualifications in art and design at the College’s Lichfield Campus travel to the capital to explore exhibitions featuring the works of masters of the Renaissance and Baroque periods including Rembrandt, Holbein and Da Vinci.

art students

Home to the largest collection of portraits in the world, the National Portrait Gallery provided the students with a unique opportunity to develop their research skills and explore how other artists refine their skills to produce their masterpieces. With over 11,000 portraits of historical importance in the National Portrait Gallery’s primary collection, there was no shortage of inspiration for the aspiring artists.

The highlight of the visit was exploring the BP Award 2017. Attended by the College’s learners every year for the past decade, this annual event showcases the world’s most diverse and culturally rich contemporary collection of portrait paintings, including works by Rupert Alexander, Hero Johnson, Fiona Graham-Mackay and many others. These research study visits include a series tutor led lectures and conversations that seeks to gain a clear insight to the creative professional practice and valuable knowledge and inspiration to inform the the students individual creative development.

The learners also explored works of great significance during their trip to the National Gallery, whose collection boasts the works of Van Gough, Botticelli, Raphael, Monet, Turner and Constable. A fantastic opportunity to explore the traditions of artistic movements throughout the centuries, including Impressionism and Realism.

Speaking after the study tour, the College’s Art and Design course leader said “This tour provided our students with an incredible opportunity to develop their research skills and draw inspiration from some of history’s most influential artists. They were able to develop their understanding of professional practice and study some of the most breathtaking collections. It was an incredible experience and one that will no doubt stay with our learners as they embark on their own artistic careers.”

The tour is just one of the ways in which South Staffordshire College’s students benefit from enhanced learning opportunities during the course of their studies. As well as trips and visits, the learners also have the chance to be involved in a wide range of community art projects and exhibitions, including those at the College’s own Art Gallery, the Wedge.

The College offer art and design courses for people of all ages. From short and part-time courses for adults to full-time qualifications for school leavers and degree programmes, there are a wide range of opportunities available. To find out more and find the course for you, visit or call 0300 456 2424.

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